Dr. Nicole Lipkin

October 3, 2023
Dr. Nicole Lipkin and Jordan Cox sat down to chat at ASOTU CON 2023.
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Dr. Nicole Lipkin in the CEO of Equilibria Leadership.

Thanks to Effectv for making ASOTU CON Sessions possible!

Paul Daly: 0:02You're listening to a soda con sessions by effective live from a soda con 2023.

Jordan Cox: 0:09

Thanks for tuning in for another episode of soda con sessions presented by effective and we had a chance to catch up with Dr. Nicole Lipkin, which is CEO of equilibria leadership. And obviously you had a great time on stage today with the opening keynote. So first off, thanks for coming back again. It was so cool officially meet you. I've seen everything you guys did last year and obviously had a chance to sit down with Alana Shabti. Last year, too, which was great. Yes. Yeah. So also, let's see your son, Charlie, Charlie, is he five?

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 0:38

He's four and a half scoring Africa. Yeah.

Jordan Cox: 0:40

What is he turned five, march, march. Turn five. I have a three year old that turns four next month.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 0:47

So you're really knee deep into it, too. It's real fun. Isn't it? Real fun.

Jordan Cox: 0:52

It always changes all the time, doesn't it? It's so amazing. Yeah. So like one of the cool things about the way you presented things this morning is there's really applicable key takeaways. Yeah, not only like as a leader, but also as yourself like, in the experience, like you really understand your role. Yeah, no,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 1:09

it's it applies to we're human beings, it applies to us, throughout all the aspects of our life. I mean, I've taught my husband this. So we can have an even stronger relationship. And I know that like, he like, autonomy is his big one. And for me, fairness is my big one. And like, so you can like when you learn this about people, you can make sure I mean, we are careful about tripping those things up or judging it, you know, yeah, it works all across the board.

Jordan Cox: 1:39

Yeah. So like fairness and autonomy like those, like sure, they can overlap some, but I can see it, there's a lot of that can be budding if you're not aware of it. Right. Well, of course,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 1:46

I mean, like in any. I mean, I'm gonna be really stereotypical here. But I think in a lot of marriages, it's

Jordan Cox: 1:52

the bell curve, though, right? So it works for most people. Yes. But no, but

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 1:55

in a lot of marriages, you have, you know, and this is very stereotypical right now, but women who complain of like having the brunt of, you know, homecare, childcare and working exactly, and men complain about, like, Stop telling me what to do stop nagging all of that like, but if you look stereotypically, at relationships, sure. This is a dynamic that plays out. But when you start to be aware of it, you can, you know, recognize, okay, I'm doing this to trip this up, or, or he or she is doing this to trip this up in me, and how can we resolve this better?

Jordan Cox: 2:30

Yeah, and even creating, you know, effective leadership, there's a lot of guiding that's going on. And it's really also understand your team and how they interact with each other. But also, like the interpersonal relationships, just like you talked about, so you and your husband, yeah, the fact that you're able to really increase your relationship together and make it better overall,

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 2:48

we're able to fight better, we're able to communicate better, we're able to argue better, like, that's the goal of it. But with leadership, I mean, I don't care if you are leading a fortune 50 company, or just leading yourself this stuff applies. And the thing is, it's like, we have to look at the impact we have on ourselves and the people around us, we have to be, you know, we have to look at our emotional footprint. Yeah, that's where we have to take responsibility for it and really look at how we're showing up and how we're impacting people. And, you know, I think one of the things and I was talking to someone a little bit before, one of the things that really frustrates me, it's like, we're done with the days of like, calm, cool, collected, you know, in a box leadership, like, Give me a break. People want human people want real, like, it's about being a little bit vulnerable. It's about like, being able to be like, I screwed up and have a conversation around it. You don't have to be always put together. Sure. In fact, it's super odd when other people around you are like, flipping out or like, like, look at COVID Sure. I think this was really,

Jordan Cox: 3:57

that was a big topic you had last year is how that changed. Everything is mental

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:00

agility. Yeah, absolutely. But like, you know, I think, you know, during times of stress, and we're all living in, we've been living in stress way before COVID. Now, all of it. I don't know why I'm yelling so much that I am.

Jordan Cox: 4:14

You're that passionate. That's why

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:17

it's weird to me. Because, you know, during that time, the reality is, is showing a little bit of vulnerability actually helps other people feel like it's okay to be examinable. Exactly. But when someone is just so calm, cool and collected and like everything is tied up so tight. It can make people feel weird, like something's wrong with them if they're feeling a certain way. And that's why I think these you know, these basic needs these core emotional concerns that we're talking about today. If we can just start there and obviously I just scratched the surface. We only had 45

Jordan Cox: 4:51

minutes. Come on. Yeah, we didn't have

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 4:53

time. So just scratch the surface but like, and when we can learn to work with these and we can apply these in our day to day down and learn to like, work on our own defensiveness around them. It really magic really does happen.

Jordan Cox: 5:06

Sure. And just like you said, the fact that you can have an open conversation with someone about the fact that like you screwed up as opposed like feeling so put together about everything. Yeah. And I mean, so it's one it's really cool anytime that we can have someone like yourself that isn't in automotive retail all the time. Yeah, that can come in and like, tell us where we screw up all the time. Like, it's, it's perfect because you have GMs GSM's who have been in automotive for decades. Yeah, that are still doing it in the are still managing and leading like it's 1984?

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 5:42

Well, one of my philosophies it my company equilibria leadership is we are industry in size agnostic for a reason. Sure. If I only worked in one industry, yeah, for my entire life, I would be biased. Sure, I wouldn't be able to,

Jordan Cox: 5:58

but in a way, don't you work on one industry, the people industry

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 6:01

or work in the people industry, but that's across across the world across the board. But it allows me to be unbiased. And I think this is where we, again, this is where we have blind spots when we're working, like we have professional liability is when you're working in the same job in the industry over and over your professional liability is that you don't see outside of it. Yeah, or you don't get blinders on it eventually changes on. Absolutely. And I think that's why it's important to like, have people that don't have blinders on Yeah, to really come in and help diagnose and help move paths. And you know, like listening to some of the other things today. You know, it's interesting, some of the most progressive companies that I worked with throughout COVID, were the ones that did culture assessments. And what that is, it's looking at a company qualitative, and quote, qualitatively and quantitatively Sure. And allowing us to come in and talk to everyone and get people to open up and CO create collaboratively with everyone in the company, a blueprint going forward. Sure. The reason why that is so effective, is because when we're day in and day out, working in the same industry, same business, all of that, sleep, eat and bleed it, you start to make assumptions about what the issues are, you start to make assumptions about what the problems are, you start to make assumptions of why people leave, or you start to make assumptions of, of why you can't attract people and blame it on things like generation or young people, or this or that or people. Right, it's excuses. But we have to actually do just like with these core emotional concerns, we actually have to step back, take our defensive down defenses down and really start figuring out what are the people needing and wanting know what I assume? Sure. And how can we work on this together? That's what works.

Jordan Cox: 7:53

Yeah. And there's a ton of legacy dealers out there legacy operators that they're, they're doing the same thing over and over again, yeah, they're not going through and trying that vulnerability, but they can really understand what people need, right? Because to be vulnerable, they have to say, we're not doing things the right way right now to the highest degree that we could be doing.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 8:12

And that sucks. It does. It sucks to like what has worked for you always all of a sudden not working as much it sucks. And it sucks to have to take a look in the mirror and be like, Alright, let me really look at it. Let me start making these assumptions. Let me really get down and diagnose what's going on. And sometimes that diagnosis a lot of times points to the leadership team, the middle management, because a lot of times we tolerate

Jordan Cox: 8:38

sure behaviors in the mirror. Yep.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 8:41

And we tolerate behaviors from other managers just because we're so busy, and we need those people and we need the institutional knowledge and all that stuff. But the minute you start tolerating mediocre, you become mediocre. Yeah. You know, or the minute you start tolerating sh, blank t, you become sh blank T, right? Yeah. So again, there's stuff that we can do. But it is a little painful, it is a little worse. It's painful.

Jordan Cox: 9:14

I think it's painful when you realize, if you're if you're a manager, you're a leader, and you're a true mentor, trying to make not only business better, but you're trying to make the lives of your employees better, even outside of what you're doing within the business. I think that that's hard, because it's saying that you don't know what to do. And you don't have all the right answers. And you have to try and figure that out together, especially like cultural assessments, because that will figure out where you're at right now. And it will tell you the true components of every aspect of what will be your team is and what they really feel

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 9:48

and where they want to be. That's the part like I think, you know, I see the roadmap exactly and build up a blueprint together. Because I think, you know, when it comes to that kind of work, it's where used to doing employee employee surveys, which, you know if I had my way, sure, can we just rip them all up and throw them out in the wet like they're so they're still on paper, aren't they? They're not great. Like they're not designed to get at the heart of things. Sure. These kinds of assessments are designed like the quality, the quantitative is the assessment piece, but the qualitative is getting people to open up and talk about it and buy into what a future could look like. Like that's the thing. It's like, here we are now, here's what the future could like, look like? Yes, yeah, Sign me up. Like, let's go do this.

Jordan Cox: 10:36

Move towards it together as a team. That's the

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 10:38

difference. That's what happens. And it's it's really beautiful. And I think when companies and teams and leaders start doing this together and doing this work, like, that's where these core emotional concerns also start coming out, and you start recognizing, like, it's really, I could talk about this for hours. Sure. But it's pretty incredible. It's pretty incredible what can happen. And if I'm saying like, look in a marriage, it can make a huge difference. Well, yeah, of course, in a team. Of course, in a diet, of course, in leadership, it can make a difference

Jordan Cox: 11:07

or as a parent to

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 11:09

change every out about it. Forget about it. It's amazing. Yeah, it's amazing. It's absolutely amazing. Yeah,

Jordan Cox: 11:15

so obviously, we get a packed house this morning for your for your opening keynote, what would be three key takeaways, or maybe even one or two for people that you want to be able to take home with them? Away from a soda Con this year? Hmm. From that from from you specifically? Okay.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 11:32

Hmm. I think one it's like, ah, if we could just strop the feedback thing is important. Yeah. Okay. Like I that's number one. Like if we can just figure out a way to stop getting so defensive and let our egos get in the way. And just hear the feedback and care about it. Yeah. And I know, a stress that we are so bad at giving and receiving feedback. We're so like, there's such there's a fragility around our egos that like, we're gonna like, Wait, let me explain. No, no, no, no, no, you know, it's kind of like when you're parenting a toddler? Sure. And that toddler says, I want you know, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and you give them the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then they scream No. Right? It's like you there's no winning.

Jordan Cox: 12:28

It's like, you know, my life.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 12:29

It's like, because I know my life. But it's no, this analogy isn't working well, but bear with me. But it's kind of like it's the same thing with getting feedback. It's like we're so quick to defend. But if we just hear people, these are other people's perceptions, and so much movement and personal development can happen. And don't wait, like, don't we want to keep on evolving till we die? Yeah. So feedback is one. And I think the same like with caring enough to give the feedback, we can learn to do that better. And the other takeaway, I would say is like, again, it's that last thing I said, it's like, once you learn how to work with human behavior, like you can't lose, it's a lot of times all this, these initiatives, and all these things we're doing are actually working against human behavior, like, humans are actually more simple. We're more simple than we think we have feelings. But I mean, we're complicated. But like, you know, there's basic needs that we want, like being appreciated, like having fair management practices. And I didn't get to talk about all the cultural things and leaders things that we can do to help these. But we want to be appreciated. We want to be a part of things like these are basic things are not that complicated. But we have to like kind of hear what we do well and hear what we don't to be able to make to evolve.

Jordan Cox: 13:50

Yeah, so Dr. Lipkin, like the two things that really stuck out to me, right, there was the appreciation aspect. Yeah. And then also feeling like you're a part of the team. Yeah. Because once you fix those two problems, especially with like, on a team, interpersonal relationships, like, I'm not gonna say that fixes everything. But that gets you pretty far.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 14:10

It can get you pretty far. But I do have to say it has to be done sincerely. Like to pee. Yeah, authentic. I hate that word.

Jordan Cox: 14:18

What's a better word than authenticity, there

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 14:19

is no better. I but I hate that word. But there's no better word. But that's the reality. Like one of the things that's really important, is like when you're faking it to check off a checkbox, or we are really good at picking up each other's stuff.

Jordan Cox: 14:34

You mean like when I say sorry, to my wife, just to say I'm sorry.

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 14:37

She's very good at picking up pick up on that we can pick up on this stuff. So if you can't do it for real, it's almost better not to do it and just acknowledge it. Sure. And then go on the side and go get your executive coaching to get better at it because the reality is when we feign this stuff, it can do more damage.

Jordan Cox: 14:54

Sure. Well, Dr. Lipkin, thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy day like it's awesome to hear from you. opening keynote. It's awesome to spend some time with ya. And people can check you out at equilibria

Dr. Nicole Lipkin: 15:04

leadership Colibri leadership.com or LinkedIn. It's Dr. Nicole Lipkin.

Jordan Cox: 15:08

That's great. So Dr. Lipkin, thank you so much. Thank you.

Paul Daly: 15:13

Thank you for listening to this. So to concession by effective if you want more content like this, you can check out our other podcasts we have a daily show called The automotive troublemaker Monday through Friday, here and podcasts also live streamed on YouTube, and LinkedIn and Facebook. We also have a long form podcast called Auto collabs auto collabs. And if you just want to go a little different in this community, you should sign up for our regular email we put our heart and soul into it. You can get it for free by going to a sotu.com. We'll see you next time.

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